Center for Native American Youth Chairman and Founder, Senator Byron Dorgan (ret.), spoke to the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee on April 30 about Native American youth priorities and challenges. During the meeting, which was attended by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman Jon Tester, and Senator Heidi Heitkamp, among many senators, as well as elected tribal leaders and heads of tribal organizations, Senator Dorgan highlighted the urgent need to address problems affecting Native children throughout Indian Country.
In particular, Senator Dorgan called for the exemption of Native American programs from the across-the-board cuts outlined in the Budget Control Act, echoing the op-ed he wrote in the New York Times. During the meeting, tribal leaders from across the country also highlighted challenges and successes they are experiencing in their communities. Recurring themes were: economic development, infrastructure, and educational opportunities.